Music of the twentieth century is usually associated by the majority of music lovers with an experiment, atonality, and avant-garde - works beyond the traditional composition. Meanwhile, the first half of last century is still a time of late Romantic activity, as well as the era of neoclassicism, a new trend which drew heavily from earlier times, classicism and even Baroque. To this trend and classic forms (variations, solo concert, symphony), the three compositions of the evening refer.
The variations for orchestra belong to the "school" works of Dmitri Shostakovich - in the pastoral theme one can hear the influences of Tchaikovsky or Glazunov rather than the later characteristic style of the Russian artist. A young, about fifteen-year-old, composer probably wrote these variations during the third year his of studies at the St. Petersburg conservatory, and dedicated them to his school friend Nikolai Sokolov.
The second violin concerto in G minor Op. 63 by Sergei Prokofiev looks more mature. The composer was writing the work during numerous trips in exile in Paris, Voronezh and Baku. The work was completed in 1935 and premiered in Madrid. This composition remains a rather conservative example of Prokofiev's work and is maintained in the style of a "new simplicity". There are, however, virtuosic moments here, as well as unobvious solutions and the grotesque, especially in the last movement.
Benjamin Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem, written during World War II, is a personal pacifist manifesto by the composer. Although the work was commissioned by the Japanese government to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the Mikado dynasty, and privately the artist dedicated it to the memory of his own parents, the un-warlike sound of the extremely dramatic work created in 1940-1941 is irresistible. Sinfonia refers to a Catholic funeral mass and is composed of three links taken directly from the liturgy (Lacrymosa, Dies irae, Requiem aeternam), but it remains a purely instrumental work.
Waarts plays Prokofiev
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48